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Future-proofing your Workforce: Embracing AI in talent acquisition strategies

CXC Global7 min read
CXC GlobalJanuary 18, 2024
CXC Global

The evolution of recruitment in the AI era

The recruitment industry has undergone radical change in recent years, at the hands of new and – at times – revolutionary technologies.

And it was about time: traditional recruitment methods have always had their limitations. From manually reviewing resumés to multi-stage face-to-face interviews, posting on job boards and engaging recruitment agencies, the process has typically been time and labour intensive.

Granted, technology has dramatically helped speed up hiring operations in recent years. Tools such as applicant tracking systems, candidate screening tools, video interviews and assessments, digitised onboarding systems and even social media have all helped to modernise and accelerate the hiring process.

But with lingering post-COVID candidate shortages in many job categories, companies like yours are looking for more accurate and more efficient recruitment processes and outcomes. Employers continually seek to achieve further productivity gains in their talent acquisition strategies.

And this is where AI plays a starring role.

In this evolutionary phase of the recruitment industry, the fundamentals remain. Technology, and specifically today, AI, has created an innovative and highly efficient roadmap for candidate sourcing, selection, hiring and the job-seeking process.

The rise of AI in Recruitment

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changer in the recruitment industry. The multifaceted benefits realised by employers, recruiters and candidates have turned what was a painful, arduous process into a fast, fruitful and less costly exercise.

To get specific, AI for recruitment is the application of artificial intelligence technology across different stages of the hiring process. AI gives employers and recruiters more talent and hiring data, so they can make more informed workforce decisions, and craft better talent acquisition strategies.

The application of AI has the capacity to improve every stage of recruitment. This includes:

  • Sourcing and screening talent.
  • Review and analysis of resumés.
  • Pre-employment assessment checks.
  • Predictive analysis of a candidate’s likely success in a role.
  • Cultural fit of a worker in an organisation.
  • Streamlined onboarding.
  • Continuous improvement, by tracking recruitment metrics over time and identifying areas for improvement.
  • Efficient data management, where AI organises all candidate intel, removing the risks associated with human error of incorrect data input.

Importantly, AI is quickly (pun intended 😜) accelerating the hiring process, getting better hires in place, with faster time to productivity. And with the ability to remove unconscious biases which can affect human decision making, AI opens up organisations to bigger talent pools.

Harnessing AI for enhanced recruitment strategies

Key components of AI in recruitment

Although there are multiple benefits of deploying AI tools in your hiring processes, it’s knowing how to fit these tools into your strategic workforce plan, and your talent acquisition strategies, that will help you extract optimum benefit.

Let’s dig into the three major advantages you can expect from harnessing AI into your recruitment strategy.

Automating resume screening and candidate assessment

Candidate and resume screening is a crucial stage in the hiring process, as it helps to shortlist the most qualified talent from a pool of applicants. But it’s time consuming. AI tools can help you to quickly extract the key information from applications and resumés, and bring the most qualified, best fit candidates forward.

How AI does this, will vary based on the tool and system used, and based on the candidate information you deem most important. For example, AI can help identify personality or behavioural traits of a candidate, enabling you to assess if they’re a good fit for the role, the department and the business. These insights will then be used by your recruitment team in the shortlisting process, so you’re able to – quickly and effectively – focus on only those candidates with greatest potential.

When it comes to talent assessment, AI tools can help you attain a deeper measure of a candidate’s competency and personality, than ever before. Assessments powered by AI can be engaging, fun, and memorable for the applicant and can bring out their true personality and behavioural profile. And that’s aside from the insights you gain about their technical fit for a role. Talent assessments can be in the form of online gamification, personality and skills testing, social skills assessments and estimations on culture fit.

Another huge benefit is this: most AI tools can be customised to suit the specific information needs of your organisation. So, if you’re focused on building a better business culture, you can home in on the fit of a candidate. And finally, AI tools will seamlessly integrate with your existing HR tech stack, to create a continuous, efficient HR workflow.

Do you notice a trend here? All these benefits will also offer your HR and recruitment team another valuable payback: more time to focus on strategic HR and workforce planning, and less time on admin. The result? Better talent acquisition strategies, higher-quality talent with better fit, improved productivity and operations, and a more profitable business.

AI-driven candidate matching and sourcing

AI-driven matching of jobs with candidates decreases the time recruitment professionals spend analysing resumes and job applications.

Employers expedite hiring processes by being able to immediately identify the best candidates from the applicant pool. AI qualification analysis ensures a better match between job specifications and the skills and experience of candidates. The result? Higher-quality hires.

It’s important to note that AI algorithms are constructed to be neutral, so this lowers the potential for bias throughout the hiring process and supports your company’s DEI commitments.

AI algorithms can accurately match job requirements with candidate qualifications. This reduces hiring errors due to skills mismatch and ensures that only the most eligible candidates progress in the hiring process.

Streamlining recruitment processes

No matter how efficient your recruitment methods, it’s inarguably a lengthy process.

Rather than spending over 30 hours per week on admin, recruiters can integrate AI based solutions to completely streamline the process. For your organisation, this could look like:

  • Sifting through thousands of applications instantly, to identify qualified candidates for open roles.
  • With the use of algorithms and machine learning, job search, talent database search and social media platform search can all be automated so relevant candidates can be quickly identified from across the web.
  • AI can optimise your HR and recruitment marketing efforts by connecting with candidates in real time.
  • Chatbots can engage with candidates to nurture them through the early stages of hiring or remove them from the process if unsuitable.
  • AI tools have become an incredible boon for improving the onboarding experience of new hires. Tailored onboarding experiences, fit for the individual, the role and the department, give new workers a sense of belonging, fast. And some AI tools can scale the onboarding process, so large numbers of new hires can be accommodated.

Overcoming recruitment challenges with AI

Despite the overwhelming evidence of AI benefiting HR and talent acquisition strategies, there are a few potential downsides you need to be aware of. These can each be overcome, through careful planning, and a consistent focus on how the technology is serving your organisation.

AI requires a lot of data

Overall, AI requires significant amounts of data to learn how to precisely imitate human intelligence.

For example, where AI uses machine learning, a lot of data is needed for the technology to learn how to accurately screen resumes to as high a standard as a human recruitment professional. Depending on the role, this might mean several hundreds or thousands of resumés for a specific role.

AI can learn human biases

One of the major benefits of AI in recruitment is the elimination of unconscious bias, as the technology ignores details such as a candidate’s age, race, gender, or sexual orientation. The potential problem here is, AI is trained to identify patterns in behaviour.

Therefore, any unconscious bias that may exist in your prior recruiting behaviours may well be learned by AI. The best way to avoid this, is to develop the technology in your business, with requisite due diligence: or a clean slate. Get your AI technology vendor to take the relevant steps to avoid biases and ensure you’re monitoring the performance of the AI tech, so that you avoid any patterns of bias.

New technology scepticism

HR professionals have been consistently confronted with new technologies in recent years. They’re encouraged to embrace the latest technological opportunity or a ‘ground-breaking’ solution, only for these technologies to disappear as quickly.

Therefore, you may find your HR and recruitment staff are a little technology weary. Scepticism may well be ingrained.

But proof is in the pudding. If your HR and recruitment workforce are provided with adequate proof, tangible evidence and training, they’ll come around. Especially on the promise that one or many of their monotonous admin tasks can be automated, and they’re going to be outperforming their former selves.

Conclusion: embracing the future of AI-driven talent acquisition

The time and effort that can be saved by recruiters using AI is hard to estimate. But as evidence emerges of improvements in quality and fit of new hires, a faster time-to-hire and time-to-productivity it’s obvious that AI has the potential to truly revolutionise the hiring landscape.

AI for recruitment is already an important piece of the HR technology ecosystem. Offering a new layer of intelligence for better, data-driven decision making, the recruitment process will become less centre-stage, and the strategic focus on workforce planning, succession planning, and better workforce management will be the main event. Is your business ready?

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